A Traumatized City . . . Murders, shootings, and violent crimes in Chicago hit staggering new levels!

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There are stunning new crime numbers from the FBI: in Chicago, it isn’t just murders and shootings that are up – it is all violent crime.

Newly obtained FBI data show that the crime surge in Chicago goes beyond the end of a gun. Overall violent crime – an umbrella figure that includes murder, rape, robbery and assault – jumped significantly here the first half of last year, an increase more than four times higher than the rest of the nation.

According to this FBI report, violent crime in the U.S. increased a little more than five percent the first half of last year, while in Chicago, during the same period, overall violent crime heaved 24 percent.

Chicago is significantly outpacing the nation, with aggravated assault up 23 percent and robbery 28 percent higher.

The numbers are driven by a surge in Chicago murders – 49 percent higher than the previous year – but FBI data show an increase in all violent crime categories in Chicago that is significantly outpacing the nation, with aggravated assault up 23 percent and robbery 28 percent higher.

The FBI report shows a drop nationally in property crimes but not in Chicago, where property crime numbers jumped 6 percent, according to the federal stats.

There were 762 murders in all of last year and more than 3,500 shootings – figures that got most of the attention were mostly gang-related crimes, according to police.

“If you’re a leader or policy maker that has anything to do with Cook County or the City of Chicago you should find it reprehensible that we had over 700 homicides last year. That’s just, it’s unacceptable. And if you think that’s OK, then I have a problem with you,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

But the FBI report reveals other problems – crime numbers that are broader than just gangs and drugs – with sex crimes, assaults, robberies and property crimes all up in the first half of last year, and no reason to believe they abated in the second half.

 

Plans for the Future

2017 Enhanced Crime Fighting Strategy – the Chicago Police Department plans on implementing a series of initiatives that aim to reduce violence, increase the capability of its police officers, and build public trust. Elements of this enhanced strategy are based on national best practices being implemented in other major cities. One major component will be the creation of district based intelligence centers so that crime plans and deployments can be tailored to the individual nuances and patterns in corresponding communities. These centers will be staffed with district intelligence officers and crime analysts from the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

This strategy will also place a heavy emphasis on creating a culture of accountability for repeat violent offenders and a more meaningful deterrent to gun crimes. In addition CPD is working with newly-elected partners in the States Attorney’s Office to strengthen how gun cases are investigated and prosecuted.

 

We can help.

If you are a victim or you have been accused of a violent crime, you need an attorney to represent you. The outcome of your case will be significantly impacted by the strength of your defense. Ramon A. Moore is an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney with more than a decade of experience as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office. He has handled every type of criminal case including first-degree murder or attempt first-degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 for a FREE consultation today.

Trump’s Immigration Policy Ignites Fear and Frustration

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President’s Trump’s immigration policy has both legal and illegal immigrants on edge, fearful and frustrated, and with good reason. Take for example, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent that shot a 53-year-old man in Chicago, which some activists blame on the federal immigration policies recently enacted.

ICE claims the man pointed a firearm at the agent during an attempt to arrest a different individual in the household. But the victim’s family and lawyer have denied the claim, saying he didn’t even own a gun. Neither the victim nor any other members of the family living in the house is an undocumented immigrant, according to his daughter.

The incident occurred the same day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted sanctuary cities such as Chicago, repeating Trump’s pledge to cut off federal funds for cities that shield undocumented immigrants from federal enforcement efforts.

Trump’s executive order targets undocumented immigrants convicted of a crime . . . it does not distinguish between one crime and another.

Although President Trump’s executive order targets undocumented immigrants convicted of a crime, it does not distinguish between one crime and another, stating that anyone “charged with any criminal offense” — whatever the nature, convicted or not — is an “enforcement priority.” An immigration officer can also unilaterally target a non-criminal undocumented immigrant for removal if, in their judgment, said person poses “a risk to public safety.” Nationwide ICE raids targeting convicted criminals have led to the arrest of hundreds of undocumented people with no criminal history at all, a break with the agency’s practices under President Obama.

ICE spokesperson Sarah Rodriguez would not say why a quarter of those detained have no criminal record. She referred to Secretary Kelly’s statement in which he notes raids targeted “convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws.”

While it’s not yet clear what exactly transpired in Chicago, critics of the Trump administration maintain incidents like this are a predictable consequence of putting more ICE agents in the field — and that the more raids there are, the greater the chance something like this will happen again.

 

Millions of children, citizens impacted by U.S. immigration enforcement

Increased attention to immigration enforcement in 2017 has propelled the serious issue of children being separated from an undocumented parent into national headlines. The stories of children, including U.S. citizens, being forcibly separated from a parent, are sadly multiplying. In March, for example, a 13-year-old Hispanic girl witnessed and recorded ICE agents taking her father into custody as he drove her and her sister to school in California. The girl’s father remains in ICE custody at the Adelanto Detention Facility.

The family’s experience reflects the reality that millions of people in the United States face: more than 16 million people in the United States live with at least one undocumented family member, often a parent, who may be targeted for deportation. More than eight million of these residents are citizens. And the majority of them — almost 6 million — are children under the age of 18.

Many elected officials have voiced concern about and opposition to immigration enforcement policies that adversely affect children. At a recent forum hosted by the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, co-chair Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) stated: “I am deeply concerned about the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and actions… Sacrificing the wellbeing of children for any purpose is immoral and inhumane.  It goes against the fundamental values of our nation and our legacy of treasuring and protecting children.”

Research has documented that immigration enforcement actions, and the ongoing threats associated with them, have significant physical, emotional, developmental, and economic repercussions for the deported, their families, and children who stay behind.

Parents that are taken into ICE custody, face an impossible decision regarding their children. Those with a final deportation order must choose whether or not to bring their children, including U.S. citizen children, with them or leave them in the United States. This decision also assumes that taking a child with them is possible, as parents may not be able to provide for their children in a stable and safe environment in the country of deportation, based on many of the same conditions that may have triggered the parent’s migration to the United States in the first place.

 

The experience of legal counsel matters greatly in immigration cases

Immigrants rely heavily on the advice of their lawyers, often times entrusting their entire livelihood on the merits of the counsel. But what happens when a lawyer gives their client bad advice, and that advice becomes the catalyst for their deportation? The Supreme Court is tackling this question as it hears the case of Lee v. United States.

The decision of the Supreme Court could have a far-reaching impact on immigrants struggling with the criminal justice system — and whether their fate depends solely on their attorney’s advice about a plea bargain, no matter how bad that advice might be.

Like many Americans, immigrants who face the criminal justice system are often pressured to take a plea bargain rather than go to trial. As Justice Breyer commented during recent oral arguments, “we are in a world where 95 percent of the people and what happens to them depend upon pleas, not upon trials.”

An individual’s defense, taking a plea bargain or going to trial, will depend on the legal counsel they receive. Immigration cases are complex, and the laws are difficult to navigate, which makes the retention of an experienced attorney critical.

 

We can help.

If you are a legal immigrant accused of a crime or an undocumented immigrant facing deportation, or if you know some that is, you need an experienced attorney to represent you. The outcome of your case will be significantly impacted by the strength of your defense. Ramon A. Moore is an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney with more than a decade of experience as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office. Mr. Moore knows the legal system and the law. He has handled every type of criminal case including first-degree murder or attempt first-degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Your freedom and the survival of your family are at stake. Call 312.332.5134, immediately for a FREE consultation to discuss your case.

The Most Dangerous Times on the Road

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By BACtrack 

The odds of getting into a driving accident increase during periods when there are more cars on the road, such as rush hour, or when driving conditions are less than optimal, as during periods of inclement weather. But when the number of alcohol impaired drivers increases, the odds skyrocket. Research into periods when motorists are most vulnerable to accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers offers an instructive road map for avoiding those times when driving risks are the greatest.

Chicagoans must educate themselves and their teenagers about the risks posed to them by those that choose to drink and drive during the holidays.

There are many efforts made during the Christmas season to warn and alert Chicago residents about the dangers of drinking and driving.  This holiday season is no exception. All drivers and pedestrians should take extra precautions to stay safe. Be vigilant when driving as you are more likely to share the road with drunk drivers.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2001 and 2005, 36 fatalities occurred per day on average in the United States as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. At certain times of the year, such as summers and holidays, those numbers rose dramatically. During the Christmas period, for example, an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day, and soared to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday. All these numbers would almost certainly be lower if breathalyzer use were more widespread. 

Most Dangerous Holidays

During the holidays, the number of travelers on our nation’s roads peaks as friends and family come together to celebrate. As a result of holiday parties and gatherings, more drivers are impaired by alcohol, too. Unfortunately, fatalities resulting from accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers have become so predictable that many state highway patrol departments now issue fatality estimates, which usually prove to be all too accurate. 

Lurking among the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer is the deadliest day of them all – the Fourth of July holiday. The IIHS studied deaths resulting from auto accidents from 2005 to 2009 and ranked the July 4 as the deadliest day of the year, with 144 driving-related fatalities on average. Teens accounted for nearly 10% of the fatalities. 

The most traveled holiday period of the year is Thanksgiving weekend, and DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. Thanksgiving Eve is even referred to as “Black Wednesday,” as it may be the busiest night of the year for bars. Social binge drinking (consumption of a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time) is also common at this time of year.

During the Christmas and New Year period, the average number of fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver rose 34%. This numbers would almost certainly be lower if breathalyzer use were more widespread.

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December. According to the NHTSA, 2,597 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle traffic crashes during December 2010. The NHTSA also found that an average of 36 fatalities occurred each day in the U.S. 2001 and 2005 as a result of crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver. That number increased to 45 per day during the 3-day Christmas period and jumped to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday period.

Learn More About Breathalyzers

This article is brought to you courtesy of the Law Office of Ramon A. Moore. Mr. Moore has over a decade of experience as a prosecutor having handled every type of criminal case including first degree murder, attempt first degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 to schedule a free consultation.

Chicago has had more homicides this year than New York and Los Angeles combined

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A woman sits on the curb as police investigate the scene where gunfire at a birthday party killed a man and injured a woman. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

By The Chicago Sun-Times

The summer is winding down in Chicago, a city beset by violence that has skyrocketed to levels unseen in recent memory and is now rapidly approaching a grim milestone. A particularly deadly month has pushed Chicago’s number of homicides this year almost to the number seen in all of 2015, even as four months remain on the calendar.

August was a brutal month for Chicago, which has been dealing in tandem with staggering amounts of gun violence and an embattled police department tasked with fighting the bloodshed. There were 90 homicides in Chicago in August, a number that most major U.S. cities did not match during the entire first six months of 2016, according to police data.

Even as homicides have spiked in a number of cities, following increases in bloodshed in many of the same places last year, the situation in Chicago has stood out through sheer scale. The country’s third-biggest city has had more homicides this year than the only two bigger American cities — New York and Los Angeles — combined.

This year, 471 people have been killed in Chicago, about 50 percent ahead of the same point last year and almost even with the 473 total homicides recorded by police in 2015. The city, spurred by an August that was its most violent single month in almost two decades, is on pace to have more than 600 homicides in a single year for the first time since 2003.

[America is safer than it was decades ago, but homicides are up again in a number of big cities]

The story of Chicago’s bloodshed is one of gun violence. In August, when an average of three people were killed each day, there were 384 shooting incidents and 472 shooting victims, according to police department data. Police said more than 90 percent of the people killed this year were fatally shot, similar to the number from last year.

Authorities in Chicago say the violent crime there is largely being committed by repeat offenders with illegal guns, and police have targeted gang members who they say are known to law enforcement.

“The historical cycle of violence we have seen in some communities must come to an end,” Eddie Johnson, the Chicago police superintendent, said in a statement early Thursday. “Repeat gun offenders who drive the violence on our streets should not be there in the first place and it is time to changes the laws to ensure these violent offenders are held accountable for their crimes.”

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This article is brought to you courtesy of the Law Office of Ramon A. Moore. Mr. Moore has over a decade of experience as a prosecutor having handled every type of criminal case including first degree murder, attempt first degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 to schedule a free consultation.

Christmas Burglary Stats: The Truth about Holiday Crime

 

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By Monitronics

There has been an ongoing debate over the last decade as to whether or not the holiday season is unusually active for burglars. A number of studies support this idea; other studies refute it. Common sense seems to fall on the side of support. It’s a time when more people go on vacation and more items come into the house, so it would seem logical that burglars would target the holidays as a very profitable time of year.

The problem with determining whether burglaries spike during the Christmas season or not boils down to one simple thing: comparing local statistics against state and national statistics. It is very hard to predict local trends because there are so many variables in play.

Home Burglaries by the Numbers

A 2013 report by CNN illustrates the general principle that home burglaries increase across the nation during the holiday season. They utilized FBI data from 2011 to compile their report. That data showed:

  • Nationally, burglaries peak during the summer but also trend upwards in December.
  • California alone saw an 18% increase in burglaries in December 2011.
  • Some cities experienced their greatest number burglaries in the two weeks following Christmas.

Philadelphia is a great example of that last statistic. In 2011, police responded to 194 burglaries reported during the final two weeks of December as opposed to an average of 143 for the last two weeks of the preceding five months. Those who make a living observing criminal trends say it all makes perfect sense. People tend to travel between Christmas and New Year’s, leaving behind many of the expensive gifts they unwrapped on Christmas morning. It is a lucrative combination that burglars cannot resist.

Police say it is difficult to recover all of the stolen items even when burglars are caught. Statistics bears that out. According to the numbers from the FBI, the average loss of a Christmas-related home burglary is more than $1,600. Burglars make off with everything from televisions to smartphones to computers.

Police Recommendations

As you might guess, police agencies across the country issue annual recommendations in anticipation of the holiday season. Their recommendations include things we have become very familiar with:

  • Do not broadcast your holiday vacation plans on social media.
  • Cut up and conceal gift packaging before putting it in the trash.
  • Have someone look after your home, including getting mail and newspapers.
  • Put lights on timers so they can go on and off during the day and evening.

Police officials also say that burglars like to “window shop” this time of year. In other words, they will scope out a neighborhood by posing as a door-to-door salesperson or a utility company representative. They are hoping for a quick look through windows and open doors, mentally noting the contents of each home they see. They then use this mental inventory to determine which houses to target.

Thwarting a window-shopping burglar is easy: Keep your blinds down and be very careful about opening your door to strangers. If someone does arrive unexpectedly at your door, go outside to meet him or her rather than issuing an invitation for that person to enter.

The statistics are clear in terms of national trends: Home burglaries do tend to go up in December. Even if your local community has been relatively safe over the years, that may change this year. So be smart. If you don’t yet have a security system with around-the-clock monitoring and home automation features, now would be a great time to get one installed.

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This article is brought to you courtesy of the Law Office of Ramon A. Moore. Mr. Moore has over a decade of experience as a prosecutor having handled every type of criminal case including first degree murder, attempt first degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 to schedule a free consultation.

The 10 Most Common Holiday Crimes

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by Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

The holidays are a joyful time of the year, but it is also a peak time for criminal activity. Criminals take advantage of the seasonal chaos and people’s giving nature by committing some of the worst crimes imaginable. Even though police are out in droves this time of year, criminals always find a way to ruin the holidays for somebody. Here are the 10 most common holiday crimes:

Identity Theft
Identity theft is a risk for virtually everyone during the holidays. Thieves are online and offline, waiting to steal your personal information, credit card number, and Social Security number, and use it to commit crimes. Thieves can steal your identity in various ways, such as skimming, phishing, pretexting, and old-fashioned stealing. As common as identity theft is during the holidays, there are many ways to protect yourself and your finances from being compromised, such as reviewing your monthly statements, balancing your checkbook, reviewing your credit reports, and securing your personal information.

Shoplifting
Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed during the holidays. With shopping at an all-time high during Christmas, shoplifters have more opportunities to take advantage of the large crowds and distracted workers. According to Adweek, one in every 11 people engages in shoplifting and with the recession still in full swing, that number could be much higher.

Robbery
The holidays are a hot time for robberies because of the increased cash volume and the distractions of crowds. Robbers are well aware of the fact that people carry more money on them during the holidays and they will go to great lengths to try to steal from people on the street, in parking lots, and other public places. People have turned to crime to solve their financial problems and see robbery as one of the quickest ways to do that.

Drunk Driving
The holidays are a time for fun and celebration, but they are unfortunately one of most dangerous times to be on the road. Drunk driving is extremely common this time of year and fatalities related to alcohol-impaired driving has risen since 2005. In December 2008, 520 people died from alcohol- or drug-related crashes.

Vehicle Theft
Vehicle burglaries are a problem all year long, but it is far worse around the holidays. Thieves know that shoppers leave expensive gifts in the car and that they could be gone for hours. It doesn’t take much for criminals to see what’s inside your car and figure out a way to steal your valuables. The good news is drivers can prevent auto burglaries by taking some simple, but effective preventative steps, such as locking the doors, hiding your valuables, and taking the keys with you.

Rape and Sexual Assault
Reports of rape and sexual assault have increased around Christmastime. This is most likely due to the increase of parties and alcohol consumption that takes place during this time of year. Women who engage in heavy drinking have a greater risk of becoming a victim of rape or sexual assault. When alcohol or drugs are involved, people’s judgment becomes impaired and they may find themselves in more dangerous situations than when they are sober.

Home Burglary
Home burglary is a concern any time of the year, but it’s especially bad during the holidays. Burglars tend to break into homes that are easy to access and they usually steal items that they can quickly and inconspicuously carry, such as laptops, electronics, jewelry, and cash. The risk of being burglarized is always there, but homeowners can take effective measures to protect their house and belongings.

Counterfeiting
Every year, unsuspecting shoppers get duped into buying counterfeit merchandise that they think are genuine. Counterfeiters profit from tricking consumers into buying knock-off items and illegally downloading music, movies, and television shows. Not only do these criminals steal from consumers, but they also cost legitimate companies a great deal of money. Counterfeiters often use these profits to fund other illegal activities.

Scams
Scams are very common during the holidays, when unsuspecting shoppers give money to a phony charity or enter a bogus sweepstakes. Scammers will tug at your heart strings and take advantage of your giving mood. They also prey on naïve and desperate people who are easily lured by deals that seem too good to be true. Shoppers can protect themselves from these sneaky scams by doing thorough research on a particular deal or offer before giving any money or personal information to anyone or any site.

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a growing problem during the holidays, and experts believe it increased with the stress of gift giving, celebrations, and the close proximity to family. Alcohol and drugs only add to the problem and put more people in danger. The holidays have a tendency to exacerbate family tension, drug use, and financial woes, causing people to act out in violent and destructive ways.

 

This article is brought to you courtesy of the Law Office of Ramon A. Moore. Mr. Moore has over a decade of experience as a prosecutor having handled every type of criminal case including first degree murder, attempt first degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 to schedule a free consultation.

Holiday Season Crime Prevention Tips

 

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During the holiday season, crime rates tend to have a slight up-swing. This is due, in part, to shoppers carrying more cash and credit cards with them while shopping – shopping later than usual and the relaxed, easy-going attitude that comes with this time of year. We call it good cheer. Criminals call it complacency. By remaining aware of holiday season risks you can better protect yourself. Here are some tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Out and About

  • Shop during daylight hours when possible & shop with a friend – there’s safety in numbers.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to who is around you, what they are; doing and what activities are going on. Be aware of someone watching you, or following you – you should notice who is around you!
  • Don’t overload your arms with packages and bags while shopping. Clear visibility and freedom of movement are important self protection habits.
  • Pick your parking spot wisely. Look for a well lit area. If you own a small car, try not to park next to a large vehicle, which can block your vision, or other citizen’s view of you while you are entering or exiting your vehicle.
  • Do not leave your vehicle unattended while the engine is running, even if you are only going to be away from it for mere seconds.
  • Have your keys out and ready when approaching your vehicle.
  • Be aware of how you carry your purse or wallet. Would it be easy for someone to take it? Remove any unnecessary items and leave them at home.
  • Try to carry only the amount of cash you will need to make your purchases and limit the number of credit cards to only the ones necessary for your current shopping trip or for that day.
  • Keep a list of all credit cards, along with contact phone numbers for each card and keep it in a safe place. This will help in the event they are lost or stolen;
  • Discuss various situations with your children. What will they do if you are separated? What will they do if approached by a stranger? What will you do?
  • Practice an exercise used often by police and military called Crisis Rehearsal. Consider what you would do in various stressful situations. Go through the plan in your mind. If you practice this and then are faced with an unusual situation, you will be able to think more clearly and react more calmly because you have already rehearsed it.

Holiday Parties

  • Control your alcohol intake.
  • If you do drink, remain with your friends.
  • Consider how much and what kind of jewelry you are wearing.
  • An alone, inebriated person, flaunting expensive jewelry is the recipe for a robbery.

In Your Home

  • Install secondary locks on your windows and doors – pins, deadbolts, stick in the slider etc.
  • Light the exterior of your home around doors, windows and driveway.
  • Trim hedges, bushes and trees around doors and windows. Be able to approach your door from the outside and be certain there is not an intruder waiting for you.
  • Place gifts where they cannot be seen from outside your home.
  • Avoid opening the door to strangers.

In Your Car

  • Don’t drive without first locking your doors and closing your windows.
  • When walking out to your car, try not to do it alone. Go with a friend, or when there is another group walking out as well.
  • Walk to your car with a purpose.
  • Do not exit your car if you see a suspicious situation. If you are in doubt, or are approached, drive away.
  • If you are being followed, go to a populated public place and call the police.
  • Do not let anyone approach you on foot, while in the drive through ATM machine.
  • Avoid shortcuts that take you through unfamiliar or unsafe areas.
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you, in the event you need to pull away quickly.

Much of the above information is geared toward being aware of where you are, who is around and what is in the environment. If you can control the environment you enter into and pay attention to the things going on around you, you can greatly reduce the possibility that you will become the victim of robbery. The bad guys won’t have a chance to make you a victim. A Safe Holiday starts with a Crime Prevention Plan!

This article is brought to you courtesy of the Law Office of Ramon A. Moore. Mr. Moore has over a decade of experience as a prosecutor having handled every type of criminal case including first degree murder, attempt first degree murder, sexual assault, weapons offenses, narcotics, DUI and traffic and more. Let his experience, honesty and hard work fight for you. Call 312.332.5134 to schedule a free consultation.